National, News

Nesitu solar power plant ready-Kiir

By William Madouk


South Sudan government is expected to launch 20 megawatts of solar power constructed in the Nesitu area of Juba County in Central Equatoria State.

In his speech at the inauguration of the national parliament, President Salva Kiir stated that the 20-megawatt solar power supply would provide a crucial boost to the energy supply in Juba City.

“In regard to the provision of electricity, the government, through the ministry of energy and dams, has completed the Nestiu solar power plant, which has a capacity of 20 megawatts.”

He added that the government is working to finalize the project before its commissioning.

Besides, the president explained that his administration, via the Ministry of Energy and Dams, built power transmission lines from Uganda and Ethiopia to South Sudan border towns.

“To improve the supplement on our power supply, we have sought the assistance of the African Development Bank to conduct a feasibility study on two connections: one transmission line from Uganda to South Sudan and another one from Ethiopia to South Sudan,” he stated.

According to the head of state, after the installation of the power transmission lines, the country would have a sufficient and reliable power supply.

Previously, the government said it plans to invest in the 1,080-MW Grand Fula project proposed near the Ugandan border but noted that insecurity and instability are derailing the implementation of the project.

Nhial Kuch, an economist for Uganda’s Evidence-Based Policy, argued that South Sudan will not realize inclusive growth and sustainable development without access to reliable power.

According to Kuch, South Sudan is blessed with crude oil and the Nile, yet only 7.1 per cent of the population has access to electricity.

Kuch said South Sudan cannot industrialize without reliable electricity.

“Nearly every sector of the economy requires energy to fully tap the benefits,” he underscored.

In 2018, Ezra Group, an Eritrean firm, inaugurated 100 megawatts of fossil fuel capacity at a cost of nearly $290 million.

The government said it would repay Ezra over 17 years by charging higher electricity rates.

Juba Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO), which is the main electric power supplier in the capital, was established in May 2018 as a private-public partnership company incorporating EZRA Group and South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC), which hold 52 per cent and 48 per cent shares, respectively.

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